Turning Trash into Something Special for your Home

There’s something so empowering about being able to decorate our home for little to no money.  It makes up for the things we have to spend money on like our new furnace and a/c unit that are getting installed this week.  When your a/c is on and the house continues to get hotter and hotter, there’s a problem!  And the furnace is old anyway, so we’re just doing it all at once.  Fun, huh?!

So, when you have to pay for things like that – things you really have to buy, but really don’t want to – it pushes you to be more creative with your resources.  We can’t afford expensive accessories for our daughter’s room.  And really, since her tastes will change in about five minutes, I’d rather not spend money on things she soon won’t like anymore, anyway.

Mini gallery wall and white end table in cottage style little girl's room

I had to get creative with my daughter’s room and this frame was the perfect solution for a little gallery wall next to her bed.

I picked the frame up on our way home from my daughter’s gymnastics class one morning.  We went a different way home that day because I wanted to see if it was faster and it just so happened to be that neighborhood’s trash day.  As we were driving slowly down the street, I scanned the trash piles and my eyes quickly found this gem!

Trash to treasure frame - before

Of course, the previous owners no longer thought it was a gem, but I knew it had potential.  So, I stopped, shoved the frame in my trunk, and headed home.  Sure, I had no idea what the heck I was going to do with my new treasure, but I was happy about it just the same.  It had potential, I could just feel it!

I let it set in our living room for a few days while I thought about how to transform it and I finally got the idea to wrap it in drop cloth strips.  It was super easy to do.  Even if you aren’t at all crafty, you can definitely still do this project!

I started by cutting a small slit in a fabric drop cloth and then ripping it the whole length of the fabric.  Then I added a little bit of hot glue to the back of the frame and attached the end of a strip of fabric.

How to add drop cloth strips to trashed frame

After that was attached, I started wrapping.  Once I got to the end of a strip, I hot glued it to the back and started the process over again.  I made sure to give it a little bit of an imperfect look so that if I made a mistake or something didn’t line up right, you wouldn’t notice it.

Update old frame with drop cloth

Once it was done, I honestly still didn’t know what the heck I was going to do with it.  I tried it in a few different places in the house and it fit best in my daughter’s room.  Which was perfect since I had been putting off finishing her room because things just weren’t looking right.  This was the perfect push I needed to finish it up!

Mini gallery wall and white nightstand in little girl's bedroom makeover

I hung the frame on the wall very carefully.  The fabric pushes the frame away from the wall a little bit, so it’s just kind of resting there.  It’s really light though, so if it does happen to fall – even though I told my daughter not to touch it :) – it won’t hurt anyone!  

I added a few more treasures inside the frame to make it into a little gallery wall.  The green star is from my Lucketts trip last year, the small “Jesus loves me” bunny plaque is mine from when I was little, and the animals of the world art (and frame) is from Ikea.

Turning trash into treasure - how to transform a trashed picture frame for cheap!

And that is why I pick other people’s trash.  I know it may seem weird to lots of people.  I’m pretty sure I thought it was weird before I started doing it.  But you see, you can find some pretty good stuff if you’re willing to do a little work to it.  And, literally, if the things I’ve found had been brought to the thrift store to be resold, I’d be paying much more for them.  Free stuff is so much better, right?!

Linking to : Lil’ Luna

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    • Allison @ The Golden Sycamore says

      Thanks Shannon! The paint color is SW Comfort Gray, mixed at 75%, so it’s a little lighter.

  1. Nana a.k.a. Terri Hop says

    You are so talented and resourceful! The frame and the little next you made are perfect for Ry’s room! Another successful and sweet project completed! :)


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